The UK is bracing itself for more disruption this weekend, with forecasters warning of another storm for the second weekend running.
Some residents, who were also hit by the 2015 Boxing Day floods, said they could no longer afford insurance.
The heavy rain warning for when Storm Dennis hits Brighton this weekend has been upgraded to amber.
"This rain is expected to fall across areas already wet from recent rainfall".
"Because the rain came though so strongly and the river rose so quickly, we physically wouldn't have had time to put the barriers up".
While the storm is now registering pressure of just 917mb - low enough to bring extreme weather conditions, - Ms Watters said that by the time it hits Ireland, it will have increased to around 950mb, which is still low enough for gale-force winds.
Met Office meteorologist Matthew Box said inland gusts could reach 50mph by Saturday afternoon, rising to 80mph in exposed areas in the south and west.
A yellow warning for wind covers Shropshire from 10am on Saturday until midnight on Sunday, as well as a yellow warning for rain.
A further yellow-level rain and wind warning will follow tomorrow for south to south easterly winds of up to 60mph on coasts and high ground across southern Scotland, the Central Belt and Argyll.
A Met Office spokesperson added: "The strongest winds could also coincide with the Monday morning peak travel period".
HIGHWAYS teams will be on standby round the clock to deal with disruption caused by Storm Dennis which is forecast to lash the New Forest and Christchurch this weekend. It said preparations were under way to operate flood defences, including the Foss Barrier in York.
He warned rain could help topple sodden trees, affecting power lines, while strong winds could affect transport links such as ferries.